A nationally televised contest and an early trip to the West Coast highlight the Green Bay Packers' 2006 preseason opponents, announced by the National Football League Wednesday.
Date: Aug. 10-14
Opponent: at San Diego Chargers
Date: Aug. 17-21
Opponent: ATLANTA FALCONS
Date: Mon., Aug. 28
Opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals
Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Opponent: TENNESSEE TITANS
All times indicated are Wisconsin
The opener, Green Bay's first-ever preseason road trip to San Diego, pits new Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy against the Chargers' Phillip Rivers, who became the team's starter earlier this offseason. The teams open the preseason for the second consecutive year after Green Bay topped San Diego, 10-7, on a rainy night at Lambeau Field. In 35 years prior to last season, the teams had met in preseason just once, the Hall of Fame Game in 1980, when severe lightning ended a scoreless tie in the fourth quarter.
Fans will have a chance to see the Packers' new zone blocking scheme against the Atlanta Falcons, the club from which Green Bay offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski learned the strategy, in Week 2.
The marquee game on the schedule is Week 3, when starters generally see their most preseason playing time. On a Monday night at Cincinnati, a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN, Packers fans will see the new announcing team of play-by-play man Mike Tirico and analysts Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser.
Green Bay's final tune-up for the 2006 season is a rematch with the Tennessee Titans, who renewed a preseason relationship with the Packers that dates to the 2002 season. The league allows teams to determine one of their preseason opponents.
Other than the Cincinnati contest, exact dates and times for the Packers' other three preseason games are to be determined. The home game designated as a gold package contest for season-ticket holders from Milwaukee also will be announced at a later date.